By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Wednesday night the Capital University women's tennis team won its first conference game since 2015 with a 6-3 victory of Heidelberg University at the Olympic Indoor Tennis Club.
The win snapped a streak of 25 consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference matches without a win. The win also pushes their overall record to 2-8 and now are 1-2 in OAC play.
The match was originally scheduled to be played in Heidelberg, but because of weather and the lack of an available indoor in the Tiffin area the teams played at the Olympic Indoor Tennis Club. Because of time constraints some matches were forced into early tiebreakers and the match began with singles play. With the order of play reversed, the Crusaders took advantage of an opportunity to gain an early lead to lessen the pressure on its doubles teams. It did just that.
Sophomore Maria Sadek (Cairo, Egypt/Dublin Coffman) and senior Megan Williams (University Heights, Ohio/Beaumont) went the distance and made easy work of their respective opponents to give Cap a 2-0 lead. Sadek defeated Jillian Goulet, 6-2, 6-3 while Williams took down Gabi Osterman, 6-2, 6-2.
Heidelberg (0-9) got on the board with a win out of the six spot, but freshman Madison Watt (Wapakoneta, Ohio/Wapakoneta) battled to a three-set win (3-6, 6-1, 10-4) over Esmerelda Rios to get the point back. Capital took a 3-1 lead into the final two singles matches. Julia Holt was unable to complete her comeback over Mallory Paul (2-6, 6-4, 5-10) however, sophomore Ashlee Freeman (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) kept the two-point advantage intact with a win at number-three singles. Freeman's match endured a slight delay due to a court change, but when she returned she finished the job against Heidelberg's Aline Rojas, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2.
Up 4-2 heading into doubles play, the Crusaders needed just one more point to solidify the win over the Student Princes. They earned that, plus one, with wins out of the number one and two doubles pairings.
Sadek and Williams teamed up in the second doubles lineup spot and earned the match-clinching point over Jillian Goulet and Mallory Paul. The duo had to battle time in addition to the opposition across the net. Tied 3-3, the match was immediately sent to a 10-point tiebreaker. Sadek and Williams rolled to a 10-3 victory in the tiebreak to earn the doubles win and clinch the match.
Heidelberg picked up one point out of the number three spot, but the Crusaders' Watt and Freeman ended the match with style following a dramatic 7-6 (10-6) win over Rios and Rojas in the top flight matchup. Again pressed by time, Watt and Freeman used a strong start to its tiebreaking race to 10 to break a 6-6 tie. Freeman finished the match with a strong volley close to the net and then the Crusaders broke into celebration.
Capital's next two matches will be true home games against Marietta College (4/7) and Muskingum University (4/10). The Crusaders and Pioneers will play at Scarborough East Tennis Club in Columbus with first service coming at 1 p.m.